The Denver Broncos hosted a recruiting visit for quarterback Peyton Manning on Friday, which is still something I'm having a hard time coming to grips with.
Initially, I was asked whether or not I thought the Broncos would have interest in Manning, and of course I thought they would. Manning is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Little did I know, the Broncos would be the first team Manning would visit with.
Manning received the royal treatment, getting picked up in the team's private jet and a tour of the facilities, a visit that lasted six hours.
So what is the fallout of this potential signing? The Broncos went from 7th place in NFL.com's Peyton Manning poll to 1st place with the arrow pointing up. As of right now, it certainly looks like the Broncos are the front-runners for Manning's services and they apparently are willing to go to great lengths to get him.
I think signing Manning could open up a can of worms, both good and bad for the Broncos.
The main thing here is that the Broncos are rumored to be ready to trade current starter Tim Tebow as soon as Manning signs his contract in Denver. This is something I'm not in favor of. While I am okay with signing Peyton Manning, I do not advocate trading Tebow by any means, but the Broncos have treated the guy like dirt.
I also do not believe that Tebow is going to pull anything similar to what Jay Cutler did, because he's not that type of a guy whatsoever. I don't know him personally, I only know what we have seen in videos, documentaries, interviews, and all of those other things, and one thing remains consistent: Tebow is not a 'me-first' type of guy.
That being said, I remember when Tebow was selecting an agent in the ESPN documentary, he was pretty clear that he wasn't going to sign with an agent who didn't believe he could be a quarterback. Tebow purposefully surrounds himself with people who believe in him, and I think while John Elway and John Fox love Tebow as a human being, I don't think they want to stake their careers with him as a quarterback.
For so long, I've been trying to convince myself otherwise, believing what those guys have said, but even after a playoff victory against the reigning AFC champion Steelers, Tebow was only guaranteed starter status going into training camp. I felt like that was a slight in itself, but if anyone deserves to have a bad attitude right now, it's Tim Tebow.
I still don't think we'll see it.
I have nothing against Peyton Manning, who is an excellent player, leader, and I think it would be an honor to have him leading our team. However, I don't think Tebow deserves to be treated this way. The Broncos, for two years since Josh McDaniels left, have been looking for the best alternative to Tebow, not the best way to supplement his talents.
Heck, we even let Kyle Orton start off last season after Tebow rejuvenated the franchise and got people excited about Broncos football again.
Even after the most compelling Broncos season in about seven years, Denver is not looking for the best way to complement Tebow, it's looking for the best way to replace him.
Sure, you can say, "Sayre, you are an idiot if you think going after Peyton Manning is a bad idea." I don't think adding Manning would be a bad idea. In fact, I think it's an idea that I would fully support, but it kills me to see Tebow being treated like this. I think Tebow is a future superstar in the NFL, a guy that players are going to want to play for for a very long time, and I can't imagine my team trading him away. Ironically, the guy who would be pulling the trigger on the trade was a guy who demanded a trade way back in the day.
Here's what looks like is going to happen. The Broncos sign Peyton Manning, who allegedly doesn't have any other trips scheduled at the time of my writing this. After that happens, the Broncos will seek the best trade they can get for Tim Tebow. I don't know what team is going to make a push for him, all I know is that it better be an NFC team and it better be for a first round pick (you can argue that if you want, it's just my opinion.).
After the Broncos trade Tebow, there will be a huge outcry by the fans. "This is just a short-term fix! This is a horrible decision!"
But the Broncos are clearly building this team to win super bowls now if they try to sign Manning. Regardless what your opinion is about his health, if the Broncos spend the money to sign him, they obviously believe that in the next 3-4 years, they can be Super Bowl contenders while they try to develop a quarterback of their liking.
I think if the Broncos sign Manning, they will also be the front-runners to sign Reggie Wayne. I have maintained throughout the offseason that Wayne and Manning could be a package deal, and I think a lot of you also feel that way. If he comes do Denver, I could easily see that happening.
Not only that, I also think that the Broncos would be the front-runners to get Dallas Clark. Dante Rosario and Daniel Fells are both free agents, so a veteran tight end has to be on the Broncos' short-list of free agent needs.
I'm just talking hypothetical here, but could you imagine a Broncos offense with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Willis McGahee, and whoever we decide to pick up outside of that? That could be pretty sick, actually, especially if Peyton Manning is the one calling the shots.
Should the Broncos FAIL to sign Peyton Manning, I think the fans will be relieved, but only for a short time. I think that would prompt them to take a quarterback far earlier than anyone thinks or wants in April's draft, and I can tell you right now the Broncos have serious interest in Brandon Weeden, the quarterback from Oklahoma State.
There are a ton of analysts and experts who feel like Weeden is a first round prospect potentially, and I think the Broncos would pull the trigger on him at pick number 25 should they not sign Manning in the coming days/hours.
The other thing is, signing Manning could help the Broncos for the future by getting younger free agents to come to town, not necessarily in 2012 but in future years to be able to play with him. There are a lot of people who also believe that signing Manning would also help players like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins win a Super Bowl before their careers are over, or at least they think that Manning gives us a better chance to do so than Tebow does.
I don't know how all of this is going to play out, all I know is I will still be a Broncos fan by the end of the weekend, and at the start of next season regardless if we get Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, Brandon Weeden, or whoever it winds up being.